This article covers what’s new in the IBM® Lotus® Notes® 8.5 release. Lotus Notes 8.5 marks a major milestone in the Lotus Notes history and is a significant release in terms of new features, appearance, programmability, and functionality.
Lotus Notes 8 is a major upgrade to Lotus Notes with a new user look and feel. The client is now built on an open standards, Eclipse-based architecture that allows for greater flexibility for customization, thereby fitting better into the service-oriented architecture that IBM proposes and supports.
Version 8 was the “.0” release that early adopters tend to use. It brought in all the features but did require some improvements, included in the 8.0.1 and 8.0.2 releases. Both these modification levels made dramatic improvements on the memory footprints and the user interface.
Version 8.5, which shipped January 6, was developed at the same time as version 8.0.2. The main difference in 8.5 is that it includes a host of new features in addition to the improvements provided in 8.0.2. Clients have asked me to help them determine which version to use when upgrading to the Notes 8 client. This is what I tell them: “If you want to upgrade from an earlier version of Lotus Notes to the new version 8 interface with minimum user disruption due to new features, then choose version 8.0.2. If you want (or can’t live without) all the new features, then choose version 8.5.” The choice is simple: An upgrade to verson 8.0.2 is easier to support in the organization, and an upgrade to version 8.5 offers many new functions that might prove difficult to manage if, for example, the upgrade is from Lotus Notes R5.
The new functionality in Lotus Notes 8.5 covers the following areas:
* General and user interface enhancements
* Other: things that don’t fit into any of the preceding categories